Today law enforcement officials confirmed the arrest of the wife of Omar Mateen, the man responsible for the Pulse Nightclub massacre and will face charges in connection to the mass shooting.
Noor Salman was arrested at her family home in San Francisco, California but the charges she will face were filed in the state of Florida about the 49 people killed by her husband during his massacre at the Pulse nightclub in June. The wife of the accused terrorist will face charges of obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting by providing material support to a terrorist organization. The New York Times was the first media outlet to report that the FBI had arrested of the Orlando shooter’s wife.
The wife of Omar Mateen, the Pulse Nightclub shooter, has been arrested https://t.co/xWvNHjpZN3
— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) January 16, 2017
Attorney General Loretta Lynch also spoke to the media confirming the arrest.
“This is a matter that we continue to take very seriously. We said from the beginning we were going to look at every aspect of this case, every aspect of this shooters life — to determine not just why did he take these actions, but who else knew about them, was anyone else involved, is there any other accountability that needs to be had here in this case.”
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Noor Salman would be expected to make an initial appearance at a federal court in Oakland, California Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. After this court date, the authorities intend to fly Salman back to the Middle District of Florida so that her judicial process can be completed in the correct jurisdiction.
Investigators had spent hours interviewing Salman after the June 12 mass shooting and had made it clear that Salman would face criminal charges it was ever determined that she knew of the plans husband Omar Mateen’s, had to carry out the attack on the gay nightclub, and did nothing to stop him. Those hours of questioning did not get the Muslim woman to confess though and last November she continued to proclaim her innocence during a session with the media. “I was unaware of everything,” she insisted. Noor Salman also stated that her marriage had been rocky and her husband had become increasingly violent, even becoming physically abusive. Salman said that during her pregnancy Mateen had even punched her during a trip to buy clothes for the baby.
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It was later revealed that Mateen and Salman had actually been exchanging texts the night of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub. After the mother of the gunman called his wife asking for him in the middle of the night, Salman sent a text message to him. The messages seemed to show that Mateen had not told his wife what he was up to and after he had declared that “I love you, babe,” he stopped responding to her attempts to make contact. He had been in the middle of the shooting spree at the time. During conversations with the hostage negotiators, Salman pledged allegiance to ISIS. It was nearly three hours after the initial shooting began in the club that the Orlando police SWAT team were able to stop the gunman, killing him during a shootout.
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In addition to the 49 people who were killed, at least 68 others were hurt during the shooting which is known as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
As the weeks went by Noor Salman avoided speaking publicly about the massacre her husband had carried out and it was only at the November interview that she claimed to have no knowledge of what Mateen had been planning. She says she thought that her husband had been out with a friend that night.
Omar Mateen and Noor Salman had a son together, a boy who is now 4-years-old and partly named after his father. Last month Salman filed a petition to change her son’s name.
[Featured Image by Chris O’Meara/AP Images]